A number of doctors and medical employees expressed their rejection of the recent widespread racial talks targeting expatriates in Kuwait. Consultant Endocrinologist, and Diabetes and Internal Medicine Consultant at Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital and activist Dr. Anwar Yaqoub Hayati stressed that the recent increase of racial speeches against expatiates in a country, which is known for its benevolence and humanitarian attitude, is really “strange and new”. He condemned the description of expatriates as “colonists”, insisting that this is a barbarian description that lacks any traces of justice.
Dr. Hayati affirmed that the issue of population imbalance needs to be urgently solved as Kuwait does suffer from excess number of expatriates. However, the solution to this problem must be reached through civilized and humanitarian ways. He said, “We keep searching for solutions based on our reactions to a certain issue without paying any attention to the reasons behind that issue”.
Dr. Hayati asked, “What has the government done for punishing visa traders who are actually responsible for this issue?”.
Meanwhile, Surgery Specialist at Mubarak Hospital Dr. Fatima Khaja explained that expatriates are human beings who came to Kuwait to offer services that are needed in the country. They have the right to receive their human rights and basic services. Their services are not supposed to be offered for free. “Therefore, it is strange that expatriates have to pay the price for the economic disability of the country, as though the current deficit did not result from legal and illegal squandering of the public funds”.
Dr. Khaja affirmed that she is in support of the implementation of tax system but it must be implemented on both citizens and expatriates just like in advanced countries. She also affirmed that she supports the need for people to pay for the medical services offered to them, but there must be medical insurance that covers all citizens and expatriates, and the private companies must be obligated to it.
Dr. Khaja insisted that issues should never be handled through racist actions such as allocating an entire hospital just for Kuwaiti citizens. She called for differentiating expatriates from immigrants, clarifying that expatriates work hard for the benefit of the country but immigrants are those who should be followed up for security reasons.
In this regard, Nephrologist and Internal Medicine Specialist at Mubarak Hospital Dr. Yousef Behbehani said, “No one can deny the existence of population imbalance problem in the country. This issue has many negative impacts on the lives of both citizens and expatriates. However, this problem must be handled through studied actions that identify the main reasons behind the issue and target its core”. He insisted that racial statements and partial steps are not parts of the proper solution, adding that Kuwait is not in need for creating a populist class.
Dr. Behbehani lamented that the government has failed in offering basic services to citizens due to which it is targeting expatriates to blame them for its failure. He stressed that expatriates are not part of the problem but are often victims just like citizens, insisting that influential visa traders are mainly responsible for this problem. Dr. Behbehani added, “We need to take steps that bring an end to this problem without turning Kuwait into a repulsive state and forcing qualified expatriates to leave for other countries”.